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My first post here so be gentle with me.
Anyway I have a domain name which I bought about 3 years ago through an internet forum along with a little site. Nothing special and certainly no huge money spinner, but a 6 letter nice .com which is mobile related. I developed and expanded the site and was happy to earn a little every month via Adsense for it. It was my first experience with Adsense and moneytising a site.
I had a terrible time renewing it last year. I did get a reminder but the link to renew it didn't work, and although my hosting panel showed the hosting account, under the 'my domains' area it said 'no domains registered'. There were a few emails went back and forth and eventually I managed to renew it via a direct payment from a support ticket including the Paypal receipt number. I tried to transfer it a few months later but all attempts to get a transferral number were unsuccessful.
Alas, real life and having a baby took over and I have a few other bigger sites to concentrate on. So I forgot about it for a bit.
Two days ago I logged on to find that the domain was now listed as 'expired' ( I hadn't had any notification ) and again, all attempts to view or gain any access to it from the hosting panel were met with a brick wall. It's not listed in my account. I have no other names or sites there. They took the yearly hosting fee no problem, however in January.
I've emailed several times, with no success or any sort of response, and am really at a bit of a loss as to what to do next ? The company that registered the domain, well, their website seems pretty out of date, with the 'latest news' panel showing 'Jan 2007'. The client forum also seems to have tumbleweeds blowing around with no real questions and answers since last year.
The whois still shows the nameservers for the company but not my name and another name which I've never heard of acting as 'registrar'. On googling, the 'registrar' is being touted as the 'new domain registration arm' of the first company.. but doesn't seem to have any homepage.
Where do I go from here ? The expiration date was 31st Jan. Will I be too late to do anything ? Sorry for my newbieness but I've never had any trouble in renewing domain names before. Even with the Registerfly thing I got my domains transferred out swiftly and with little trouble.
It's very frustrating not being able to contact anyone or have any access to do anything about it. Am I doomed to have my 3 year old site just disappear. I'd really hate to lose it after all this time. I know I've been a bit distracted lately but still, I put a boit of work into it and is something I hoped to put a bit of work into once I had a bit more time to myself.
Thanks in advance for any help at all you can give.
Telephone calls and sending cash / money / dollar bills are the most effective way I know of handling a domain crisis. Money talks better than any other form of communication I know. Faxes and letters from lawyers may also help sometimes, especially if it's a lawyer you retain "right in their hometown".
If there is an upstream registration provider (when dealing with a reseller) you can sometimes get the "parent" to do what the "child" wouldn't or couldn't.
After all else fails you have to fall back to determining whether the registrar's dropped domains go to auction and, if so, how you can bid.
[edited by: Webwork at 1:54 am (utc) on Mar. 10, 2008]
What hopefully didnt happen to you: phishing scammer sends out mass emails to people with domains that need renewal soon. Person clicks fake link that brings them to fake registrar. Scammer sends you fake support ticket with paypal bill which you pay thinking your domain is now renewed however the real registrar thinks you just let it drop.
If you can speak to your registar or whoever they are reselling from they should be able to fix this, if it was a scam you can also get a chargeback from paypal. Hope you get your domain back!